Eighth-graders from Burroughs Elementary School remained hushed as NLU’s Ray Legler, Ph.D, took them on a tour of NLU’s Chicago campus, then explained how they could attend a university, or a vocational school, after they graduated high school.
The 45 kids stayed so quiet, in fact, Legler wasn’t sure they had taken it all in.
“The teachers told me afterward that the kids were really excited about coming, and talking about it on the bus trip back to school,” Legler said. “That’s sometimes how they are at this age.”
Legler had invited the students at the request of Richard Morris, principal of Burroughs School, which sits in Chicago’s Southwest side Brighton Park neighborhood. The idea was to get the kids to consider their future possibilities. The visit was related to Legler’s Pathways to Success Project.
Supported by a seed grant from National Louis, Pathways to Success works with schools in low-income communities in Chicago. It aims to introduce students to life after high school—whether that be a two-year or four-year degree or career training.
The main goals are to provide opportunities for students to see the relationship between education and future employment, and support their transition to post-secondary education or training, so that they can escape or avoid poverty.
The goal of the visit was to provide students with an experiential opportunity to learn about college and other types of post-secondary education. The students toured the downtown campus, participated in a presentation about college and careers, and engaged in conversations with several National Louis University students.
The elementary students did prepare some questions for our NLU students, and the conversations focused on college-related issues such as choosing a major, career opportunities, financial aid and student life at National Louis.
In a follow-up email, one of the Burroughs teachers, Alma Rodriguez, expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to visit NLU and said “These type of things are not easily at the reach of our students, and although our 8th graders were very shy in front of your students and staff, everything they saw and heard created a spark for their future interests. Our students will remember National Louis University opened their doors to them, when other institutions felt 8th grade was too soon to visit and feel the college experience.”